I love thinking about things this way. This piece of art by greg colson visually diagrams a person's day. How much time is spent driving or fixing his hair or tending to the children, as if it's some scientific study. I love this sort of stuff. It makes me laugh but it also helps me picture the inside of a life from the outside.
If I were to make a pie chart of my daily life, one wedge would be diabetes care. The everyday tending to all the little details, the blood tests, the carb counting, the bolusing, the changing of my sets, the reordering of supplies, the inevitable lows or highs. That wedge would always start at a certain size regardless of whether things are going well or not. And then some days the wedge would be bigger, like when my diabetes is out of control or I'm sick or dealing with a change. On those days the wedge would just grow, making other stuff's wedge get smaller to accomodate it. No questions asked. Just move over reading time or free time or exercise or whatever. Move over because the diabetes wedge says so. Period.
When I picture diabetes as a piece of my life pie chart, I realize that at it's best, diabetes is neutral. It stays in it's assigned place. I'd prefer that it didn't have a wedge at all, but it does, so staying in it's place is the best I can hope for. Neutral. Managable. As minimal as possible. There is nothing delightful or fabulous about diabetes, so it's really the best when it's quietly not in your face. I think that's a significant realization. It makes me see that diabetes sets a tone for my life. It doesn't wholly define it, but it certainly factors in. On the good days it's neutral. On the other days, not so much. Complications, related physical or medical things, everyday, random control challenges, all take diabetes from neutral to noisy. And that fact, contributes to a tone underneath all that I do. Diabetes is always there and I'm always checking to see what size of the pie it's going to be today, hoping for neutrality but also preparing for some more noise.